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complained in homely but forcible language that there
was no escape from the insolence and rapine of the
Turks, This so upset Motasim that he never again
rode abroad in Baghdad, but founded a new city at
Samarra, some sixty miles above the capital.
The Revolt of the Jatt or Gypsies.—Under the orders
of Walid L, at the beginning of the eighth century of
our era, a large number of Jatt, termed Zott by the Arabs,
had been transported with their buffaloes from the lower
Indus to the marches of the Tigris.1 As soon as they
were firmly established there they began to rob and to
kill. By closing the Basra-Baghdad road they raised the
cost of food in the capital, and compelled successive
Caliphs to send armies to subdue them. Their insolence
is expressed in the following poem, preserved in the pages
of Tabari:
O inhabitants of Baghdad die !    May your dismay last long ! . . .
It is we who have defeated you, after having forced you
to fight us in the open country.
It is we who have driven you in front of us
like a flock of weaklings.
Mamun's generals were unsuccessful in dealing with
the elusive scourge, and Motasim's first care was to
send Ojayf, a trusted Arab general, to subdue this alien
people. Ultimately, in A.H. 220 (834), Ojayf succeeded
in his task by cutting their communications. The Zott
surrendered, and after being exhibited in boats to the
delighted citizens of Baghdad, wearing their national garb
and playing their musical instruments, were exiled to
Khanikin on the Turkish frontier—now a stage on the
Teheran road—and to the frontiers of Syria, whither
they proceeded, taking with them their buffaloes. These
useful animals they can claim to have introduced into the
Near East and into Europe.
The Capture of Babek, A.H. 222 (837).—Motasim's
most successful general was Afshin, who, after two years
1 I would refer to the deeply interesting Memoire sur les migrations des Tslganti h
trovers PAsic by Professor de Goeje. Some years ago, I collected vocabularies of the
Gypsy dialect in both the Kerman and the Khorasan provinces; vide Journal Anthro-
pological Institute, vol. xxxii,, 1902, p. 339, and vol. xxxvi., July-December, 1906.